If you drive a MINI Cooper, then you know it is one of the coolest, quickest, most fun cars on the road. Known for their unique style and performance, these vehicles offer a driver experienced that is unmatched for its value. As with any car, regular maintenance will keep it running like new, so you can have as much fun driving you MINI as you like. However, even with proper care, no car is immune to overheating because of cooling system issues. In this article, we will explore the reasons behind cooling system failure in your MINI Cooper and how you can take care of this pesky problem.
The cooling system in your MINI is designed to circulate liquid coolant through the engine to keep it running at the optimal temperature for peak performance. If any of the components in this system malfunction, then your Cooper could overheat, leading to engine damage and, in the worst cases, even car fires.
The system itself consists of a radiator, water pump, cooling fan, and thermostat. In addition, a number of tubes and hoses connect the entire system, circulating water or coolant through the vehicle similar to the way your heart circulates blood through your body via the veins.
The water pump does the job of circulating the liquid coolant through the hoses. After going through the engine, that coolant absorbs heat. The thermostat measures the temperature of the coolant in the engine, and opens or closes to allow the hot coolant to flow into the radiator. Here, the radiator exchanges heat between the liquid coolant and the air blown through it by the cooling fan.
If your engine overheats, you may notice smoke coming from under the hood and/or the temperature gauge on your dashboard will read hot. The first thing you should do if this happens is to pull over to the side of the road and turn off your car. It’s dangerous to drive while your engine is overheating, not to mention the damage it can do to your vehicle. Before you try to check the coolant levels, it is vital that you give the engine plenty of time to cool off. If you try to open the radiator while the engine is hot, the scalding coolant could burst out of the radiator and give you serious burns!
That said, here are the common causes of cooling system failure in a MINI:
Your MINI Cooper’s cooling system requires the correct coolant type and the right levels of coolant to function properly. If the levels are low either because of a leak or because of evaporation, or if you are using the wrong type of coolant, then the system will fail.
A radiator malfunction can be due to corrosion or mineral deposits clogging the system. Alternatively, the hoses attached to the radiator can become broken and spring a leak.
The water pump in your MINI works by using plastic components. Sometimes, these parts break off due to age, and then impede the flow of coolant through the pump. If you hear a rattling noise from the cooling system, this is likely the cause.
The cooling fan that chills the coolant moving through your car’s radiator is powered by a motor that can malfunction or break. If this happens, the coolant will hold a lot of extra heat.
The cooling system thermostat is powered by electricity, which means it can malfunction if problems with the wiring arise. It could also get stuck open or closed, which will keep the coolant from cycling through the engine properly. Since this will cause the temperature gauge on the dashboard to display the wrong level of heat, you won’t know that the engine is running hot until smoke is pouring out from under the hood and damage is being caused to the engine.
Here at Bavarian Motor Repairs, our ASE and MINI certified technicians use the latest factory grade tools and materials to ensure superior service for your MINI Cooper. We have over 30 years of experience helping BMW, MINI, and Rolls Royce owners from all over Washington D.C., Largo, North East, Upper Marlboro, College Park, and Capitol Heights, MD. To schedule an appointment to have your cooling system diagnosed, call us today at 240-552-9988.